MillsGarden
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Location: Southeastern Kentucky, zone 6B

Plants Not Growing - Should I Work on the Soil?

Hi! Excuse me for jumping over the introduction area. To be quite honest I'm obsessed with my garden. It's always been my dream to have a nice little garden and since my husband and I just bought a home this year I started a raised one.

We built it 4 foot wide by 12 foot long. It's 8 inches deep on a level area. I filled it with A grade top soil that was sifted. I also added a few bags of compost.

So I planted...and it's been really crazy weather here in Kentucky. Raining like crazy...etc. I planted the following: Tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, cabbage, onions, pickling cucumbers, and straight neck squash.

During the frosty bits I covered them with a hot blanket. They stayed very safe. All plants have been in the ground since 4/28/13.

So....I feel like my plants aren't growing like they should be... Especially the cucumbers! I'm devastated

My soil seems really clay like. Basically I mean its really wet and clumpy, especially with all the rain. It's moderate draining but has a but load of worms in it!

Should I pull up the plants (gently mind you cause they are all tiny still) and add in come peat moss and a butt load of compost?..Any advice really appreciated!

Help please?

gumbo2176
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Re: Need help please...

Give them time. They've only been in the ground for less than 2 weeks now. If you put in transplants, it takes time for the roots to take hold and get going after the move from smaller pot to garden patch. If you are having cool weather, most of what you put in doesn't really like cool temperatures, especially the peppers.

The biggest issue you may have is the ground compacting over the growing season. I'm assuming you made a raised bed and filled it. The soil in beds like this tend to compact down the longer it is in the framework. I have one raised bed the same size as yours and twice a year I add at least 2 wheelbarrows full of compost to bring it back up to top level.

Be patient, the more you move the plants, the longer it will take them to establish.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Need help please...

I agree. You are probably seeing cabbages and onions doing well.
Cucumber really likes warm soil too. I suspect next plants to pick up pace will be tomatoes.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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jal_ut
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Re: Need help please...

Yes, just be patient. Some warm weather will get things moving.

Welcome to the group.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Re: Need help please...

Hi
You said you put in top grade soil and compost. Was the soil really wet when you worked or planted it? If you try to till or work soggy soil, it will get hard and clumpy. Did you put any kind of fertilizer in the garden as a starter?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

MillsGarden
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 7:11 am
Location: Southeastern Kentucky, zone 6B

Re: Need help please...

I put triple 10 in the beginning. I've also miracle growed them... And I put grass clipping all over the top.

My cucumbers look even worse today. The leaves are lifeless and they are just pitiful.

My moms cucumbers are really taking off.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Plants Not Growing - Should I Work on the Soil?

It's just starting to cucumber planting weather even in Kentucky I think.
Go ahead and sow some new seeds. I'm going to sow some this weekend to see if they will grow since most of the seed potato shoots have emerged and are about 4" tall.

Your mom's garden may have a microclimate that is a bit warmer than yours.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

ruggr10
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Location: Brunswick, Maine

Re: Plants Not Growing - Should I Work on the Soil?

Mulch them, after a growing season and a winter, you'd be amazed at how loose your soil will become.

MillsGarden
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 7:11 am
Location: Southeastern Kentucky, zone 6B

Re: Plants Not Growing - Should I Work on the Soil?

Well they died! Thankfully I grew a bunch of them in a tray and had extra seedlings. I planted today since its supposed to be sunny for 4 days and up into the 80's.

One group of burpless and one group of pickling. :)

The rest of the garden is looking great. I tilled in some compost and mulch/peat moss as well. Broke a lot of the large clumps up the best I could.

Hope my little garden starts taking off.

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vinyl217
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Re: Plants Not Growing - Should I Work on the Soil?

In my experience, cucumbers have always performed better when direct seeded as opposed to transplanting. A couple mounds made up in your bed and plant the seeds, you'll be surprised at how well they'll grow :eek: Also, the 10-10-10 and M-Grow and grass clippings should provide you with plenty of Nitrogen for some time; too much can lead to awesome green growth but poor production. Hope this helps, and good luck.
"Real tomato ketchup, Eddie?" - Clark W. Griswold

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